From the Life of President Wilford Woodruff


Saved by Providence

Adapted from Susan Arrington Madsen, The Lord Needed a Prophet (1990), 59–60.
Wilford Woodruff(click to view larger) Events in the life of Wilford Woodruff(click to view larger)

Illustrated by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

President Wilford Woodruff almost died many times while growing up. While still a child, he fell into a pot of boiling water, broke several bones, was kicked in the stomach by an ox, fell out of a tree, nearly froze to death in a snowstorm, and was bitten by a sick dog!

Wilford: I can’t believe I broke my leg again.

One day, Wilford was feeding pumpkins to his father’s cattle in a pasture.

He noticed that one large bull was eating more than his fair share, so Wilford decided to take one of his pumpkins away.

Wilford: He ate one of that cow’s pumpkins! I’ll show him who’s boss.

The bull was so mad at Wilford that he started chasing him down the pasture hill.

Luckily, Wilford tripped and fell to the ground, and the pumpkin went flying out of his hands. The bull jumped right over Wilford and tore the pumpkin to pieces with his horns.

Wilford: If I hadn’t tripped, that would’ve been me getting torn to pieces!

Years later Wilford became the fourth President of the Church. He said he believed Heavenly Father had protected him during those childhood adventures.

President Woodruff: I ascribe my preservation on earth to the watch-care of a merciful Providence, whose hand has been stretched out to rescue me from death when I was in the presence of the most threatening dangers.